Luang Prabang Families Displaced by Laos-China Railway Project Get Relocated to New Village

The Lao-China Railway Company has relocated the residents of Buam-Or village, Xiengngeun district, Luang Prabang province. (Photo: CRI)

The Laos-China Railway Company has relocated the residents of Buam-Or village, Xiengngeun district, Luang Prabang province, to a new village with access to recently-built infrastructure, like roads, schools, health centers, water supply, and electricity.

Buam-Or was one of the villages affected by the Laos-China Railway Project, as it was located in an area designated for the railway’s construction. Since the Laos-China Railway corridor’s construction started, 103 families, with 412 people, have had to leave the area.

Buam-Or village chief Mr. Somphong Somphonpha said that the railway company has compensated each family with a 20×30 meters patch of land. It has also offered three different types of houses for residents to choose from two-story houses, 8×11-meter villas, and 4×8-meter villas.

Mr. Somphong added that the houses also come with a two-year warranty, meaning that any defects found during that period will be repaired for free.

Several villagers said their living conditions have been better since moving to the new village as they now have good roads and permanent houses, making it easier for them to visit each other.

The Laos-China Railway Company also built two new school buildings with eight classrooms and offices, which opened in November 2021.

According to a teacher at the school, it has three teachers and about 45 prekindergarten and primary school students, and the new school buildings are built much better than the previous ones in their old village.

On the other hand, despite the railway company’s claims that villagers would be able to farm on the same land as before, Mr. Somphong called on the relevant parties to improve villagers’ lives by improving access roads to the farming areas and building landslide barriers in the village to prevent them from damaging people’s houses.

In 2023, the number of passengers who traveled on the Laos-China Railway, until 17 September, increased by more than 100 percent compared to the same period last year.

Additionally, last week, to help with tourism demand both domestically and internationally, the Laos-China Railway Company bought a new electric multiple-unit (EMU) train.